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“Edge of the crater...”

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Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Istanbul, Turkey
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Edge of the crater...”
Reviewed November 22, 2012

If you are looking for a boutique hotel, stop reading now. But if you want good quality, great location and you are OK with a large scale than this could be your choice. Sopa Ngorongoro is the only lodge on the other side of the crater and it's right on the rim, offering terrific views. I've stayed here 2 times and the last time was really a better experience because as far as I could see a lot of improvements were made. Location of the lodge is fantastic, you go in the crater in less than 20-25 minutes, which is a big plus. Breakfast and dinners have plenty of choices and the quality of the food is always very good. During peak seasons, it's sometimes hard to call the waiter for ordering but overall, this is a very nice lodge.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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4 Thank Burak D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Frankfurt
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2012

This is the only lodge on this side of the rim, with all of the others across on the "serengeti side" of the crater.

As a large scale lodge, there is plenty of detailed reviews, so i'll be brief:
- large hotel lodge type feel, there will be large groups etc checking in. Not an issue for me, but always good to have a view of what to expect
- great views down into the crater. Outside areas around the accommodation neat and tidy
- staff great, attentive, friendly
- food quality just ok. The boma restaurant holds 100 people, so dont be expecting a romantic setting
- bar area really great, and surprisingly underused by the other guests whilst we were there. Fantastic sunset views over the crater
- Room set-up was great - large, tidy room, very large bathroom with shower
- They provide a hotwater bottle for the bed - a fantastic touch, and highly appreciated. Due to the high altitude, it gets pretty fresh at night
- close to access down into the crater, and so it minimises drive time. However, if you are on a safari going Ngnorongoro to the Serengeti, this location does add an extra 30 minutes to the journey to the serengeti
- had a couple of bush buck grazing 2 metres away from our room window one evening which was pretty cool

All in all, we really enjoyed our stay here due to the great location, friendly staff, welcoming bar area and the hot water bottles

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room with a view over the crater. Most have, some don't
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank JonnyNI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schenectady, New York
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We really expected that Sopa would be too "touristy" and crowded for us but it was not. It was a really nice place. We had a room with a great view of the crater and of course our welcome champagne from you. It doesn't get better than that! The room was great and the bed had a hot water bottle in it to keep us toasty at night. Nice touch. We went down to the Crater early (left at 6:15) so we could see the sun rise on the Crater. Beautiful.

Room Tip: Ask for a upper level room if you want a view. We stayed in room #40.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank b0nnie29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Accommodating 100+ guests, the Sopa lodge is a rather uninspiring big tour bus destination. It's saved from obscurity by its top location and crater view. The rooms are clean but charmless with reliable hot water. The bar area is also nice. Dinner is a large but lack-lustre buffet.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank graham017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

The Sopa Lodge is in an excellent location along the crater rim. With the road construction, this location provides easy and quick access to the crater floor. Within a half hour of leaving the hotel we were viewing animals. This is also located near a Masai village, which is another good tourist attraction. The rooms are very nice, and the view is exceptional. Make sure you bring things like a travel clock since they are not provided and you often need to get up early for animal viewing. The food is good, but not exceptional. The dinner service was average. I would have expected better. The real reason to go there is the view and easy access to the crater. I would stay here again.

Room Tip: Go for a room closer to the main area as the uphill hike was challenging for some due to the altitud...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alpinist01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

We stayed two nights at this lodge. It was terrific. The guide books downgrade the architecture, but I thought it was fine. On the east lip of the crater, the lodge has a great view at sunset which sets directly east at 180 degrees across from the large veranda. Our second night was totally clear-- the sunset was unbelievable.

We saw lots of animals including many lions, including one which sauntered down the road in front of us. It was ignoring us and it was a large mail. We saw a black rhino and also many other grasing animals. This includes hundreds of of wildebeest, impala, zebras,impala and lots of warthogs. The Crater is so vast, it is hard to imagine. Some guidebooks refer to it as Eden on Earth and that is a good description. .

The Crater lives up to all its hype. If you leave at 6am, you will have the Crater all to yourself in the early am. We did that and saw no other tourists for the first 2 hours. We had a box breakfast with the hippos, but the birds are very agressive trying to steall you food right from our hands. Quite an experience

As to the lodge, all 3 Sopa Lodges-Serengeti, Tarangire, and Nrongoro were great. Each with a nice pool and great restaurant. The lodges are fancier than the more rustic lodges I stayed at in Kenya This had a big room and huge bathroom with a great shower and lots of hot water but only from 6-9am and pm. But that is fine.

The lodges are not fenced like in Kenya. So, the security guard walks you to your room from the main lodge for safety and in the morning, you can see sign of animals from the night before. We were told that a cape bufallo and giraffe were outside our room on different nights.

The staff also provided entertainment-- beautiful Tanzanian choral singing. We really enjoyed that. This was very nice place. The food was good and plentiful. The staff was terrific. All Tanzanian staff at Sopa lodges are very friendly and speak English very well. I was totally satisfied with this lodge. I highly recommend it.

Room Tip: It is a long walk to some of the rooms. If you can get a close in room, you will not need to walks s...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ssilver628
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2012

Nice rooms and great location on the crater rim (although note that there is often fog/mist/clouds over the crater so you might not get that postcard photo you were hoping for). You do pay a premium to be on the crater rim. Not all rooms can see the crater - maybe go for a room on the second floor if that is a priority for you.

There is wifi in the reception area, which is good. We were hoping to backup photos from our camera but the computers in the business centre were apparently all broken and staff were not very helpful in this regard.

Staff also refused to give us smaller change for our high value Tanzanian shillings with no explanation of why they couldn't, which annoyed me.

I think a lot of tour buses must stop here - there were a lot of tourists. Generally speaking Ngorongoro Crater wasn't our favourite as it was too busy, so I probably wouldn't go back.

Bring warm clothes - the crater area is cold.

Room Tip: If you want a crater view from your room, try going for a room on the second floor.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank fimacd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Property: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Address: Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 37 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Sopa Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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